Episode 1 was Legend of the Golden Witch for the record.
According to the metafictional framing story, we are playing metaphor-chess with Beatrice. But, much like Homestuck, this is not a game, just a linear story that borrows the presentation of a game. Including, as of now, second-person narration.
This is either a flashback, or given the witchy business, an alternate universe in which everyone is still alive. Either way, they’re at an aquarium.
George wants to eat the sharks, and Shannon jokes that the Japanese are the only people who go to an aquarium and want to eat the fish. Huh. That’s a stereotype I’ve never heard.
We get first-person narration from George this time. He’s very straight for Shannon.
There’s a conversation about how the finite tank is a sea for the fish that swim in it, which seems like it’s probably going to have metaphorical significance.
We get an opening credits sequence, again listing the names of the characters as if they were actors.
Afterwards, George and Shannon are at a café. We get Genders around eating and implicit fatphobia.
Anyway, the location is named: Okinawa. Which means, given remarks about the size of the tank, they must be attending Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the world until 2005.
George comments on teasing Shannon.
They talk about weight loss stuff in the usual fat-is-evil way. Then they go the beach and tell each other they love each other a lot. Yeah, yeah, you’re heterosexual.
Shannon says she used ‘real magic’ to bring herself and George together. George is very male and dismissive.
Gotta say, the more of George’s interiority we get, the less I like him.
George explicitly agrees and says says that in many alternate universes, they wouldn’t be together. Shannon’s like, no, not magic as a metaphor for an unlikely thing, actual wizard shit.
George says he doesn’t want to break the magic (of ~love~) by not believing in it.
Anyway, he tells Shannon that he’d rather she not use the -sama honorific when they’re not around family. In turn, she tells him her real name, Sayo.
So: this is a flashback, before the events on the island.
Snap cut to another time. We’re back on Rokkenjima. Someone is washing up on the beach, and going to the torii. That means this is before the events of the murders.
Whoever the new narrator is, Beatrice persaudes them to stop being ‘furniture’ by remaining in the ‘paradise of God’. They ‘learned of love’ and decide to ‘choose to become a person’. The way out: to break a mirror inside the shrine.
…the person turns out to be Shannon! This must be the ‘magic’ she spoke of with George.
She says she upheld her promise, and now it’s time for Beatrice to uphold her side of the deal.
The PS3 OP plays - same as in the first episode, but now I recognise the characters and some of the events. I got asks from @fates0end with links to the original game’s OPs, so I’ll watch those in a bit.